In a news release Monday, CMA reiterated its strong support for the reinstatement of the North Fork Coal Mining Area exception to the Colorado Roadless Rule. The Roadless Rule with the North Fork exception for limited road building and surface activity was the product of a seven-year public process involving extensive public comment and hearings throughout Colorado. Three Administrations in Colorado, including those of current and former Colorado Governors Hickenlooper, Ritter and Owens, strongly supported the rule, which balances both environmental concerns with the need for jobs and economic development in rural Colorado. Several members of Colorado’s congressional delegation and the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, acting for Colorado’s Governor, filed supporting statements or comments.
In 2005, the Colorado General Assembly enacted legislation establishing a Task Force which held hearings around state to develop the proposed rule. The final Colorado Roadless Rule approved by the Forest Service classified a total of 4.2 million acres as roadless and off limits to mineral and other development. It also gave special protection to 1.2 million acres while placing less than 20,000 acres in the North Fork Coal Mining Area exception.
Anti-coal activists falsely contend that 150,000 opposed the rule, but only 36 comments, many of them supportive, had been filed through the Forest Service’s web portal as of January 19. CMA said that these groups have a history of exaggerating their numbers and filing form letters, messages and social media statements, allegedly from their databases. That is akin to “Stuffing the Ballot Box.”
For access to CMA’s, Colorado delegation and state comments, click here
For access to the news release, click here